Sunday, March 12, 2023, will forever be etched in history, as well as in the minds and hearts of jockey Trevor "Slicer" Simpson and racing fans, after the former five-time champion rode a milestone 1,500th career winner in local racing at Caymanas Park.
Simpson's landmark achievement came aboard the Keffin Murray-conditioned Soul Amia in the seventh race, a Restricted Allowance IV contest for native-bred five-year-olds and upward (non-winners of three) over the straight course at five furlongs (1,000m).
Simpson brought his mount into play with a telling run towards the end of the race to beat Silver Fox (Andre Powell) and Ruds D Indian (Christopher Mamdeen) by a head in a blanket finish. Soul Amia ran the distance in a time of 1:02.0.
Only the legendary Winston "Fanna" Griffiths, with 1,663 winners, has more victories than Simpson in the history of local thoroughbred racing.
"It's a lot of winners and I am just grateful for everything. I feel so good about myself, knowing that I have just won 1500 races at Caymanas Park, and I must give thanks to everyone for their support over the years," Simpson told the Jamaica Observer.
Meanwhile, the highly rated El Afortunado began his "Road to the Triple Crown" with a powerful win in the $1.2-million Sir Howard Stakes feature over six furlongs (1,200m).
A designated prep for colts and geldings for the upcoming native-bred, three-year-old Classic series of races, in the native-bred three-year-old Restricted Allowance ll (non-winners of two) contest, the feature is run in honour of outstanding racehorse Sir Howard, a multiple stakes winner who retired in 1984 as the leading all-time stakes winner with 10 wins from 28 starts.
Trained by Anthony Nunes and ridden by Anthony Thomas, El Afortunado, who surrendered his lead to Big Guy In TheSky approaching the half-mile (800m) turn, changed gears in deep stretch and powered home by 3½ lengths.
Big Guy In TheSky had no response to El Afortunado's acceleration and took second place, with Whizz Kidd, under Simpson, getting up for third place. The final time for the race was 1:14.4 (23.3 x 47.2).
It was the second winner for Nunes as he earlier saddled Wow How (Tevin Foster) in the fifth race. Foster had earlier won aboard Duke of Springs for trainer Tensang Chung in the first race for his double.
Racing continues on the weekend with races on Saturday and Sunday.
— Ruddy Allen
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